Faculty of the Month

October 2017 Faculty of the Month

Jim standing in front of the stonehead. Jim Baxter
Professor of Biology and Biotechnology

Jim started teaching at Ohlone as an adjunct in 1996 and was hired full-time in 1999. At Ohlone, Jim is considered one of the founders of the Biotechnology program. He designed and taught the first Biotechnology lab course ever offered at Ohlone and was much involved in developing the curriculum for several of the new courses in the Biotech program. He also was a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant application that was awarded to Ohlone.

Jim and a female student doing experiment in the bio laboratory.Jim was one of the first faculty to put a program, which included several Biotech certificates, through the Curriculum Committee using CurricUNET. He helped develop the first discipline-specific Associates Degree in Biology at Ohlone, where beforehand Ohlone offered only a broad degree in Natural Science. He has also led many Northern California Bay Area Biotechnology Center workshops that Biotech instructors and industry workers frequently attend.

Jim's insect collections.Jim's favorite class to teach is the Biology for Majors course—this is the two-semester course of Principles of Biology. In this class, he has students put together “an insect collection following professional criteria for catching, preserving, and displaying” the insects. He says, “Initially, some students are reluctant—even afraid—to work with insects, but by the end of the semester, many have overcome their squeamishness and turn in spectacularly well-done collections.”

Jim holding his dog Sashka.Outside of Ohlone, Jim is an avid hiker. He, his wife, and their dog Sashka spend most weekends going on five-to-twelve mile hikes. He especially loves the hiking vacations he takes to Colorado and Washington during the summer months. Outside of hiking, Jim enjoys reading science journals and books as well as anything related to history, especially Native American history. He likes to challenge himself by reading texts in German and Russian. He says that even though he is not particularly fast in reading these foreign-language texts, he loves to learn new languages.

Congradulations, Jim! You are a bright example of one of Ohlone's best faculty members!

Faculty of the Month Archive. Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.